Internship Event You Won’t Want to Miss

This blog was originally posted at Indiana INTERNnation.

No matter how large or small, your company can benefit from hiring an intern. Now more than ever, today’s challenging business environment offers opportunity to access talented student interns willing to put their creative energy to work for your organization. Learn how easy it is to get an internship program designed and implemented!

On October 7, Indiana INTERNnet joins forces with IndySHRM to present a workshop designed with you in mind.  An interactive panel of experienced internship employers, former interns, and career services staff will highlight how to make a solid business case for hiring an intern.

Hiring managers, career services professionals, and students are invited to attend the event in downtown Indy which includes time for networking, six easy steps to creating an internships program, practical tools to help you get started and lively conversation from panelists with internship experience.

We hope you will join us!  To learn more or register, click here.

Summer Interns Available Through Common Goal

Employers who may be seeking summer interns, who may need some extra help, or who may want to dedicate a few weeks to a good cause, consider hosting a high school summer intern through the Common Goal Program.

The Common Goal Initiative is spearheaded by the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and a collaboration of educators, community organizations, and businesses leaders who are working to increase the high school graduation rate in Marion County. Common Goal aims to raise the graduation rate to 80 percent and decrease the number of high school drop-outs to five percent by 2012. That is the big picture outcome. For the students we serve, we aspire to nothing short of changing lives that may be on a dangerous failure course. As part of the Initiative, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce has collaborated with the Indianapolis Chamber to help provide at-risk high school students with internship opportunities during the summer.
 
We are currently searching for employers to host Marion County high school students accepted into the program. Participating employers host students for 80 hours during the summer, usually 4 weeks/20 hours per week at no cost to the employer, as Common Goal provides the internship wage. The students’ interests vary across diverse industries, and this opportunity will help define and narrow the career path they choose.  Prior to the start of the internships, students are trained through a series of business workshops in preparation for their real world job experiences.
 
This is a great opportunity to gain extra help during the summer while making a meaningful impact in the life of one or more high school students. The Common Goal Initiative has already helped increase the graduation rate 4.72 percent in the 2008-2009 school year over the prior year. Consider this opportunity to become part of the Common Goal Mission today. Contact me (Indiana INTERNnet Program Coordinator Pat Patterson) at [email protected] or 317-264-6863.

Advice for Students: How to Move from New Grad to New Hire

You completed your finals, got your diploma and … have to move into your parents’ basement? While today’s job market is certainly tougher for recent college graduates than it has been in several years, there is no need to make the same mistakes that hold back so many graduates from landing their first job. Let’s look at a few common errors that stop new graduates from becoming new hires:

While searching for a position:
What not to do: Fail to take advantage of the four years you spent building relationships with well-connected people you could be using as networking contacts who already know your academic record and job skills.

What you can do instead: Career services offices exist to find opportunities for students and often offer alumni networks. Professors keep in touch with experts in their fields of study. Administrators are in regular contact with leaders at all kinds of organizations. The best part is that all three of these groups have a vested interest in seeing you, their former student, succeed after graduation. Do not neglect a network you spent four years living with, studying for and working under.

When thinking about your old internship:
What not to do: Decide not to call the company you interned with as a student because you spent most of your summer answering phones and making coffee. By making that decision, you miss out on an opportunity to pursue one of the few companies with which you have a professional employment history.

What you can do instead: Get in touch with your former supervisor to see if any positions are open or will be soon. Ask how things around the office have been and mention a few new skills you have picked up. Even if you cannot stand the thought of going back, you may be qualified for a position you would not have known about in a different department if you had not called. If there are no current job openings, you can still ask your former supervisor to reach out to you if he or she hears about anything you might be interested in.

While perusing the classifieds:
What not to do: Sift through job listing after job listing while subconsciously saying to yourself, “Internships are for students. I need a real job now!”

What you can do instead: Jobs are great, but especially in this market, there are a lot of other good opportunities that many students are overlooking. Fellowships and internships, in particular, have become increasingly popular options for students after graduation, as have service-learning opportunities like volunteering. They may not pay the bills quite as well, but today’s graduates need to be open minded enough to consider these positions – the role they play in adding resume experience and an opportunity to expand your network could be instrumental in finding your next position.

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Interns: Telling the Indiana Story

What percentage of Indiana interns are paid compared to earning college credit? What is the average wage for those positions? How do Hoosier interns evaluate the work that can often lead to full-time employment?

For the first time, answers to those questions and more are available – in the State of Indiana Internships report. Richard Bottner, founder and president of Intern Bridge, conducted a recent national student survey. Indiana INTERNnet, the employer-intern matching program managed by the Chamber, contracted with Bottner to provide statewide results from more than 1,650 students at 20 Indiana colleges and universities.

Pam Norman, Indiana INTERNnet executive director, says the information (along with the program’s other resources) can help employers build their internship programs with a better understanding of student goals.

It’s a quick read (23 pages with plenty of charts and graphics) that tells the story of Indiana internships. Bottom line: internship opportunities are growing, students are being exposed to career opportunities throughout the state and companies are realizing the benefits of bringing talented, enthusiastic young people into their organizations.

Check it out here.

Internship Experience ‘Interactive’ for Local Company

Last week I visited Interactive Intelligence, Inc. on Indy’s northwest side. I3, as staff members refer to their company, is participating in the inaugural Future Workforce Connections program. In partnership with Department of Workforce Development,  Indiana INTERNnet has placed 26 educator interns in summer internships around the state. 

Tina Bedel, an IT teacher at Ben Davis High School, has been with the I3 tech team for a month and while the team helped her develop lesson plans to take back to the classroom, they brushed up on skills they don’t use on a daily basis. The team atmosphere is one aspect of her experience Tina will share with her students. As students sometimes balk at the idea of teamwork projects, Tina knows the importance of working alongside of others and now has firsthand knowledge of what can be accomplished through this work approach. 

I3 is one company committed to growing its own as their internship program has more than doubled from last year hosting 23 interns in 2008. From high school students to educators, I3 understands that in order to cultivate employees for tomorrow, they must invest in the emerging workforce today. There is no way a kid with even a bit of interest in IT couldn’t be motivated by spending some time at the very cool I3 headquarters. If our remaining internship site visits are even half as good, I will consider this program a success. Employers, if you’d like to be part of the 2009 summer internship program, join us on Aug. 5 to learn more.